Aluminum ladders

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-19-13, 10:50 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 260
Aluminum ladders

Am I crazy for thinking that it's safe to replace a light fixture on an aluminum ladder when you turn off the circuit at the fuse box and test the light to make sure you turned it off properly? I wouldn't even mind getting insulated gloves. 99.9% of the time I wouldn't be doing electrical work and I'd worry about a fiberglass ladder cracking, especially if I accidentally knocked it on something. There's also the story about 20% of some company's ladders having microcracks from their manufacturing process. I'm not a pro and I may need to replace a light fixture every 20 years.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-19-13, 11:07 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 19,536
No electrician I know will work on an aluminum ladder... power off or not. As one web site says, "federal regulations are pretty clear that aluminum ladders cannot be used by electricians, period: "Portable metal or conductive ladders shall not be used for electrical work or where they may contact electrical conductors (29 CFR 1926.450(a)(11) or 1926.951(c)(1)).""

It's not unheard of to accidentally have power at what should be a dead receptacle because of improper wiring.

What you do as a homeowner is your business, it's your life that's at stake.

A "microcrack" in a fiberglass ladder is not likely to cause an OSHA/ANSI rated ladder to fail.
 
  #3  
Old 01-19-13, 11:21 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,798
OSHA rules aside...it would take a very odd set of circumstances to cause any sort of injury from 120VAC. More likely to be hurt by falling off the ladder from jumping when you get bit.
 
  #4  
Old 01-19-13, 01:11 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 260
I'd just have a 2 foot jump because I ordered a 4 foot ladder for an apartment with 8 foot ceilings.
 
  #5  
Old 01-19-13, 01:19 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,798
IMO 4 ft ladders are only useful in very specific situations...like maybe working on the lite over a vanity. I'd rather go 2 steps on a 6 footer than 2 steps on a 4 footer. Stability issue I guess?

Best thing I ever bought was a 7ft class 1 fiberglass ladder. Best of both worlds. Easy to maneuver around, tall enough for normal ceilings, not too tall for lower ones.
 
  #6  
Old 01-19-13, 01:24 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 260
I actually wanted a 5 footer because a couple of times I wanted to look through a hole in the wall almost 8' high, but my hallway is less than 3' wide and the spread of the ladder was more than that.
 
  #7  
Old 01-19-13, 02:17 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,039
Personally I wouldn't own an aluminum ladder. They aren't near as stable as fiberglass or wood. Aluminum ladders are bad to 'walk' with you especially after they get some age on them. I prefer wooden step ladders [they're more comfortable] but after 5' I switch to fiberglass

my hallway is less than 3' wide and the spread of the ladder was more than that
Set the ladder in the other direction
 
  #8  
Old 01-19-13, 06:36 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 260
Set the ladder in the other direction
If I drill into the wall with a sideways 5' ladder I'd have about 20" of ladder width to prevent me from falling backwards. The spread of a 4' ladder is about 29 1/4". And with my plaster and mesh walls, I usually use a HHS drill bit which dulls quickly, so I tend to use extra pressure. On the other hand, I could clamp a 2 x 4 in the 2 x 4 holder in the top of the ladder if I ever drill sideways in the hallway. Easier not to though.
 
  #9  
Old 01-20-13, 03:40 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,039
What makes you think you'd fall backwards

I spent my life working off of ladders and while I've had a few issues with ladders on the exterior [related to the terrain] I've never fell or even felt like I might fall off of a ladder set on a flat floor. If you are leaning too far back, maybe you need to move the ladder some. There are also times when it's best to fold the ladder up and lean it against the wall.
 
  #10  
Old 01-20-13, 04:50 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 19,536
I think he's just saying that if you have a ladder set sideways and you are pushing on something really hard (like drilling into hard wood), that the ladder is more likely to tip because of the width of the ladder and the center of balance.
 
  #11  
Old 01-20-13, 05:32 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
I have had one for a while, but on Black Friday, for $19 I bought a second one. Totally stable and just the right height for an average person to reach 8' ceilings.

Name:  step stool.jpg
Views: 1294
Size:  7.7 KB
 
  #12  
Old 01-20-13, 06:17 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 635
I bought one of those several years ago Chandler for painting. While cutting in ceilings, I kept walking off the end of the thing and now it sits in my shed as a shelf. I love my little 4' aluminum for painting in most homes. Nice and light and with a pot hook I can hang my cut can off the side. However, as it's getting older I am noticing it is getting a little wonky and does waggle a bit at the joint. It's not at the 'widow maker' level yet, so it gets to live a while longer.

That being said, an old friend of mine worked at a huge plant that constantly hired contractors. Part of his job was safety inspector. He'd walk around with a cordless sawzall and if any of the contractors were using wood or aluminum ladders he'd hack them in two. The trades knew they were supposed to have fiberglass. Extension cords were inspected every month and grounded ones got a monthly coloured duct tape. No current tape and your cord got pulled and cut in two. He wasn't a popular guy at the plant.
 
  #13  
Old 01-20-13, 09:24 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 260
I have a one step Cosco stool with a sticker that says to check the screws periodically. I think office chairs say that too. I hate that. I don't think I can avoid it with chairs but I wouldn't buy another stool that says that.
 
  #14  
Old 02-12-13, 08:23 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 563
I do low voltage network cabling at work. I'm up in drop ceilings all of the time, and I use fiberglass, and I won't use anything else at work. Strangely enough the low voltage intercom/fire alarm people at work use aluminum. They argue that since they don't specifically work with high voltage that they're fine, and the aluminum lasts longer on the tops of their trucks (mine live in a van, so they aren't out in the sun). Personally I would want fiberglass anyway, because there's a lot of possibility that something high voltage isn't installed correctly, and I don't want to become the ground path.

At home I use aluminum or wood. Wood because my wife had one when we got married, and aluminum because my Werner telescoping stepladder gets used outdoors in the muck and has to be cleaned. But, at home I know my house and what's what, and I'm less concerned even if I'm no less careful.

At work I have a 4' and an 8' double-sided. the 8' was a bit of mistake, I thought my coworker's ladder was 8' so we ordered a double-sided 8' for when two people have to deal with telecom enclosures. When it arrived I was surprised that it was taller than his, which turns out to only be 7'. Most of the time the 4' is adequate so I don't often use the 8' or 7' ladders.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'